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Document Type

Open Access

Degree Program

Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2012

Month Degree Awarded

February

Keywords

Alzheimer's, screening, willingness, anxiety, healthcare

Abstract

While the prevalence rates of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are increasing, the screening rates for the disease are low. A major barrier to AD screening is older persons’ lack of knowledge about the disease (Ayalon & Arean, 2004). Older adults have anxiety about AD (Corner & Bond, 2004; Devlin et al., 2007), but less is known about how that anxiety may affect their screening behavior. The current study measured AD Knowledge and AD Anxiety and determined how these factors were related to Willingness to Screen for AD in a sample of midlife and older adults (N = 96, mean age = 62.45, range 55 to 86). It was expected that greater AD Knowledge would be associated with more Willingness to Screen and that higher AD Anxiety would be associated with less Willingness. Further, it was hypothesized that AD Anxiety would moderate the relationship between AD Knowledge and Willingness. AD Knowledge and Trait Anxiety were not significant predictors of Willingness to Screen, while AD Anxiety was positively associated with Willingness. AD Anxiety moderated the relationship between AD Knowledge and Willingness. When individuals had lower AD Anxiety, their Willingness increased as their AD Knowledge increased. In contrast, for participants with relatively more AD Anxiety, their Willingness decreased as their AD Knowledge increased. Understanding how knowledge about AD affects older adult screening preferences differently based on the amount of anxiety they have about AD will facilitate development of the most effective interventions to increase awareness about AD and promote screening.

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Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Ready, Rebecca E